WWE Friday Night SmackDown Results from February 7, 2014

SD_755_Photo_149

WWE SmackDown
February 7, 2014
Wells Fargo Center
Des Moines, Iowa

First Segment: Daniel Bryan comes out to a massive pop from the Des Moines audience #YESMovement. Bryan tells the crowd their great. Daniel Bryan says he doesn’t want to be the face of the WWE. He wants to be himself. He mention that the Authority show their colors when Bryan former best friend Kane came down to the ring during Bryan match with Randy Orton. Daniel Bryan calls out Kane and wants to figure how his best friend turn into a big red corporate sellout.

Kane comes out and Bryan cuts him off and tells him to come down to the ring. Kane apologizes for his actions last Monday Night. Daniel Bryan mentions all the great moments they had in the past. Bryan was hoping that Kane wouldn’t embrace being apart of The Authority. Bryan tells Kane to take off his cheap suit and give up this corporate Kane crap. Kane says he happy that his Team Hell No days are over and says that him and Bryan are no longer friends. Kane says they were never friends and mentions that in this business you can make friends or you can make money. Bryan says he is doing fine by himself due to having the support of the WWE Universe.

Daniel Bryan calls out Kane to come down to the ring and have a match with Bryan. Kane says he is fine, but since Bryan wants to fight so bad Kane schedule a match with Daniel Bryan taking on Antonio Cesaro.

1.) Roman Regins and Dean Ambrose w/Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston

Seth Rollins joins JBL and Michael Cole on commentary. Dean Ambrose and Kofi Kingston lock up to start the match. Kofi Kingston tags in Dolph Ziggler and they double team Ambrose and Ambrose kicks out at 2. Dolph Ziggler lands 10 elbows to the chest of Dean Ambrose. Dean Ambrose tags in Roman Regins and knocks down Ziggler to the bottom rope.Roman Regins tags in Dean Ambrose and Ziggler knocks him down and that allows him to gain momentum and get the hot tag to Kingston. Kofi Kingston knocks down Ambrose with the crossbody and lands a couple of kicks to the head and tags in Ziggler. Dolph Ziggler dropkicks Roman Regins to the ringside, but Regins got back up and drop kicks Ziggler from outside of the ring to gain control of the match as SmackDown went to commercial break.

Back from the commerical break Dean Ambrose lands a butterfly suplex on Kingston for a near fall, and the applied a chin lock.He continues the assault with strikes and then sets Kofi up on the top rope in the corner. He went for another suplex, but Kofi pushed him off and hit a splash. Ziggler wanted a tag, but Ambrose prevented the tag. Kofi kit a side kick, and both guys made a tag. Ziggler hit a drop kick and a splash, and some mounted punches. He followed up with a neck breaker, and attempted a Fameasser, but Reigns countered and planted Ziggler with the back suplex.

Roman Regins tries to set up for a Superman Punch, but Ambrose interrupted him by trying to sneak in with a tag. The distraction allowed Kofi to pull Ambrose off the apron, and Dolph hit a Fameasser for a near fall. Reigns recovered and hit a Superman Punch and a spear. He then tagged in Ambrose with a smirk on his face and Ambrose comes in and pins Ziggler to pick up the victory for The Shield.

The Wyatt Family interrupt The Shield arguement and starts laughing at them. Bray Wyatt says that they think he is a joke, but said can they see the monster in his eyes. Bray Wyatt says that The Shield will know how real he is. Luke Harper says The Shield will be the first to burn and to follow the buzzards.

Winner: Roman Regins and Dean Ambrose

Sheamus was shown backstage walking towards the ring as he will take on Ryback next on SmackDown.

2.) Sheamus vs. Ryback w/Curtis Axel

Sheamus and Ryback lock up to start the match. Sheamus applies a side headlock on Ryback.  Sheamus hit a forward roll slam, and then rolls outside the ring and hits a Brouge Kick on Curtis Axel. Sheamus then goes on to clubs Ryback on his chest. Ryback hit a spinebuster to Sheamus then applies a chin lock. Ryback hits the backpack stunner and then goes on the top rope and goes for the splash, but Sheamus rolled out of the way.

Sheamus starts gaining momentum and hits a powerslam. Sheamus goes for the Brouge Kick, but Ryback caught him and hit a massive powerbomb for a near fall. Ryback fires up for the meat hook clothesline, but Sheamus Brouge Kicks Ryback out of nowhere as he was charging towards him to pick up the victory.

Winner: Sheamus

They showed the exclusive interview Michael Cole conducted with Triple H on Wednesday on WWE.com. Triple H was visibly upset at Michael Cole with the questions that were addressed to him and says that his job is to make sure each WWE Superstar gets better no matter what the situation is. They plugged the match between Orton/Christian and Bryan/Cesaro which will happen later on tonight on SmackDown.

Back from commercial break and they show us a preview of the WWE’s Legends House show which will air in April on the WWE Network.

Renee Young is backstage with Alberto Del Rio, and footage was shown of his attack on Batista from Monday Night Raw. Alberto Del Rio says that he is an Animal tamer, and he would turn Batista into a little chihuaua drinking milk from a saucer. Back to ringside The Real Americans come out as Antonio Cesaro prepares for his match with Daniel Bryan.

Back from commercial break Michael Cole announces that Mark Henry will return on this Monday’s Raw Live! from Los Angeles, California

3.) Daniel Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro

Bryan got his offense early with kicks and knees. Cesaro hit a knee of his own plus a european uppercut,and then covered Bryan for two count. They battled back and forth, and Bryan took Cesaro down and applied a short arm scissors. Cesaro used his power and picked Bryan up and dropped him from an electric chair position. Bryan got fired up a moment later and hit a running clothesline. He followed up with a top rope hurricanrana for a two count. Cesaro got back into the match with a tilt a whirl back breaker.

Back from a commerical break Antonio Cesaro hits a running european uppercut to Bryan in the corner. Bryan tried to gain some momentum, but Cesaro lands a big boot to the face of Daniel Bryan.Bryan tried for a diving knee on the outside, but he hit Swagger instead after Cesaro moved. Bryan climbed to the top and tried for a splash, but Cesaro hit him in the gut. Cesaro went for the Neutralizer, but Cesaro reversed into a Yes Lock attempt. Cesaro avoided it and got to his feet. Cesaro caught Bryan’s attempt at a head scissors, but Bryan spun out of it and landed in position to apply the Yes Lock. Cesaro was forced to tap out.

After the match Kane comes down to the ring and distracts Daniel Bryan. Cesaro goes from behind and hits the netrualizer on Daniel Bryan. Kane picks up  and Bryan lands a vicious chokeslam.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Renee Young interviews WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton and says Bryan victory over him last Monday was a fluke. He says he will beat Christian, John Cena, Sheamus and Randy Orton. Orton says after the Elimination Chamber is over he will become the greatest WWE Champion of this generation or any other generation.

4.) Nikki Bella vs. AJ Lee w/Tamina Snuka

Nikki picked up AJ by the collar and tossed her into the corner. AJ jumped on Nikki’s back and applied a sleeper. Nikki escaped and hit a couple of clotheslines and a hip toss. Nikki went for her Torture Rack, but Tamina caused a distraction. Brie and Tamina brawled outside the ring, but AJ knocked Brie off the apron. AJ applied the Black Widow for the win.

Winner: AJ Lee

Renee Young interviews Titus O’Neil.Titus said that he and Darren were partners for two years, and for a guy who takes no days off, he was off for all 731 days. He tried to come up with redeeming qualities for Darren, but could only say he had nice hair. He called him dead weight, and said it was over. He said his destination is the world championship. He said Renee did a fine job, and pointed her away from him. Darren Young then attacked him from behind, and threw him into some shipping containers

5.) Bray Wyatt vs. Goldust

A very interesting stare down occur with Bray Wyatt and Goldust as the match started. He grounded Goldust and applied a chin lock. Goldust fired back with a back elbow out of the corner and then a clothesline. Goldust hit a hurricanrana off the top rope and then lands a spine buster. Wyatt rolled to the outside, but Goldust hit a rolling senton to the outside onto Wyatt. Harper and Rowan attacked Cody on the outside as a distraction, which allowed Bray to sneak attack Goldust. Wyatt hits Sister Abigail on Goldust to pick up the victory.

After the match The Shield was shown on the titantron. Ambrose said they have a lot of pride, and that’s because they are the best in the business at what they do. Rollins said he’s not afraid of them whether they are man or monster, and he will scrape their beards off their face with his boots for costing them a shot at the Elimination Chamber. Reigns said thankfully, they know a few ways to make people understand, and they would understand The Shield at Elimination Chamber. Believe in The Shield.

Winner: Bray Wyatt

6.) Randy Orton vs. Christian

Orton applies a side headlock and follows with a shoulder tackle, but Christian comes back with one of his own before throwing Orton outside. Christian backdrops Orton outside and dropkicks him as we go to a break, then we get back to see Christian try to slam Orton into the ringpost. Orton ends up kicking him into it, then he suplexes Christian on the barricade and taunts the crowd upon reentering the ring. Orton applies a side headlock but Christian counters with a suplex, then they trade punches until Christian uppercuts Orton and sends him into the corner.

Christian connects with some mounted punches before snapping Orton’s head on the ropes, then he heads up top and hits a crossbody for two. Christian calls for a Killswitch but Orton counters with a spinning powerslam for two, then he turns and sends Christian into the ringpost. Christian comes back with some strikes on the apron and heads up top, but Orton avoids a frog splash and connects with a hangman’s DDT. Orton pounces and calls for a RKO, but Christian counters with a backslide before setting up a Killswitch. Orton shoves him into the corner so Christian tries to connect with a springboard uppercut, but Orton hits a midair RKO for the win.

Winner: Randy Orton

JPOV: Very entertaining edition of SmackDown tonight. I really enjoy the matches tonight besides the Bray Wyatt/Goldust match and divas match. Daniel Bryan look very strong tonight with his match with Antonio Cesaro plus his promo earlier in the night with Kane. Those thinking this is going to be a throw away match with Kane and Bryan well I have to disagree these guys have history with each other and they had good matches in the past i.e. SummerSlam 2012. I enjoyed the promos from The Shield and The Wyatts. The Sheamus and Ryback match came as a surprise to me, but they delivered and I really hope these guys face each other again in the future. Christian and Randy Orton match was what I expected to be, but I wasn’t disappointed I’m happy that while Orton is in this Authority Gaunlet he is not losing every match before the PPV.

Josh’s Grade for SmackDown: 8/10

Follow me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR

Like Between The Ropes on Facebook and Follow Between The Ropes on Twitter

WWE Monday Night Raw Results On February 3, 2014

RAW_1080_Photo_013
WWE Monday Night RAW
February 3, 2014
Century Link Center
Omaha, Nebraska

First Segment:

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton comes out to resounding boo from the LIVE audience in Omaha, Nebraska. Randy Orton says it’s a understatement that the Authority is trying to strip him of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He ask the crowd how many times does he have to beat John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Christian, Sheamus and Antonio Cesaro. He tells the crowd he got some bad news that he will still be the champion after the Elimination Chamber PPV is over.

Randy Orton says he will go on to beat the muscle bound freak Batista. He brings back some memories of their Evolution days. The Authority comes out, Stephanie McMahon comes out to tell Orton that don’t bite the hands that feeds you. Randy Orton doesn’t care about what the corwd thinks. Triple H beginnings to wonder why they decided to let Orton be the face of the WWE. Stephanie McMahon says over the next few weeks he will face the man that are in the chamber match. She says tonight Randy Orton will fight Daniel Bryan.

Triple H leads a YES! Chants. Michael Cole shows us a replay of the WWE Tag Team Championship match from the Royal Rumble Kickoff Show as to preview for tonights rematch inside a Steel Cage. The New Age Outlaws will face The Rhodes Brothers in a rematch.

 

1.) 6 Man Tag Team Match~ The Shield vs. Big E Langston, Kofi Kingston, and Rey Mysterio

Big E Langston and Dean Ambrose start off the match. Michael Cole and JBL talk about how the fact Dean Ambrose never defends his WWE United States Championship. Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston tags into the match, Rollins brings Kingston to the Shield corner and Ambrose tags in. Ambrose grounds Kingston and tags in Roman Regins and continues the quick tags as Seth Rollins comes into the match.

Kofi Kingston tries to build more momentum, but Rollins knocks down Kingston and tags in Ambrose. Dean Ambrose continues to attack the ribs of Kofi Kingston and Seth Rollins tags into the match. Kofi Kingston comes tags in Rey Mysterio, Mysterio picks up the speed of the match and does series of highflying moves. Seth Rollins puts on top of his shoulders and Regins tags in and gives Kingston the Superman Punch. This 6 Man Tag Team Match heads into commercial break.

Back from break Dean Ambrose applies a headlock and Rey tries to build momentum, but Dean charges toward Rey to the turnbuckle Rey reverse. Off the hot tag Big E Langston bulldozes Roman Regins, Langston does a impressive back suplex and hits the splash. The Shield stop 2 count Kingston comes in attack Kingston. Roman Regins throw Kingston to ringside. Roman Regins hit the Superman Punch and was setting up for the spear, but Ambrose tags himself in to the match and hits the front face DDT to pickup the victory. Great 6 Man Tag Team Match. The Wyatts appear on the screen. Bray says he understands The Shield and got their blueprint stuck in his head. Bray Wyatt says The Shield moment is coming closer than they think. Luke Harper says was it worth it. Erick Rowan says run.

Winner: The Shield

BAD NEWS BARRET SEGMENT: 

Wade Barrett says last night Super Bowl was the highest rated show in US History. He mentions that the people stuff their face with all the junk food in their stomach and they probably won’t make it to the next year game. Jerry Lawler interrupts and says he has some bad news. Lawler tells him that he hopes that Barrett doesn’t make it to RAW next week.

Michael Cole shows a preview for the new WWE Countdown show on the WWE Network whichs comes out in 3 weeks. Cole also mentions that for $120 dollar a year you can get alll of the PPV’s. It was also announce that Batista will be on the show later tonight

2.) Christian vs. Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter

Jack Swagger lock up and early into the match Christian launches Swagger over the top rope. Christian attempts a suicide dive he stops on the apron as Swagger ducking out and then Swagger knocks Christian off the apron on to the floor. Jack Swagger throws Christian back into the ring. Jack Swagger throws Christian around the ring and applies a shoulder lock on Christian. Christian counters and kicks Swagger in the face, Christian charges to Swagger but he picks him up and slams him down to the mat. A let’s go Christian chant from the Omaha crowd starts and Swagger lands a series of punches to Christian face.

Jack Swagger goes on the tope rope he jumps off and recieves a drop kick from Christian. Christian does the missle drop kicks and starts building his momentum, but Swagger catches him off guard again with the knee to chest. Christian gives Swagger a right hand to Swagger on the apron. Christian gets caught and gets put into the Patriot Lock, a series of reversals and counters lead to Swagger getting school boyed and Christian picks up the victory.

Winner: Christian

Coming up next the it’s WWE Tag Team Championship Steel Cage Match between the champs The New Age Outlaws taking on The Rhodes Brothers. It was announced that Betty White will guest star on Monday Night RAW next week.

3.) Steel Cage Tag Team Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship~ The New Age Outlaws (c) vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust

Road Dogg and Goldust start off the match, Goldust applies the headlock to Road Dogg. Goldust does some old school getting in the head tactis to Road Dogg he then tags in Billy Gunn. Goldust and Billy Gunn have a stare down and they do their traditional signature poses. Cody Rhodes tags into the match and Cody tries to school boy Billy Gunn, but he kicks out at 2. New Age Outlaws look flustered in the early start of the match.

Road Dogg tags into the match and starts attacking the injured arm of Cody Rhodes. Massive CM Punk chant starts. The Outlaws starts applying a series of quick tags in the match. Cody Rhodes starts stomping on Road Doggs arm, and Cody Rhodes tags in Goldust. Goldust brings Road Dogg to the corner does the 10 punches to the face. It was shown that the Steel Cage Match is the Number 1 Trend in the World.

Back from commercial break, The Outlaws are still in control of the match. Billy Gunn comes off the tag and continues to slice the ring away from Cody Rhodes and Goldust. Billy Gunn kicks Goldust in the face. Road Dogg comes into the match and Road Dogg does the shake rattle and roll and Goldust knocks him down. Cody Rhodes comes in off the hot tag and Cody Rhodes throw Road Dogg to the steel. Cody Rhodes hits the Disaster Kick to Billy Gunn, but he kicks out at 2. Cody Rhodes goes on top of the Steel Cage. Rhodes hits the top rope moonsault on Road Dogg then Billy Gunn hits the famasser to Rhodes to pick up the victory.

Winners: Still WWE Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws.

4.) Titus O’Neil vs. Zack Ryder

Zack Ryder starts punching O’Neil. Titus knocks Ryder to the ringside and throws Ryder to the barricade. Titus O’Neil gives Zack Ryder a bear hug. The Miz comes out and complains about how Zack Ryder has a match, but The Miz doesnt. Titus charges toward Ryder, but Ryder counters and O’Neil kicks out at 2. Zack Ryder gives O’Neil the boot to the face. Titus gets back up and hits the Clash of the Titus on Ryder to pick up the victory.

Winner: Titus O’Neil

5.) Santino Marella vs. Fandango w/Summer Rae

Santino proposes a dance off between the Summer Rae against a member of the audience. Emma was shown in the audience #Emmalution. Santino brings her into the ring. Santino polls the audience and Emma picks up the victory over Summer Rae.

Michael Cole shows us a preview of the WWE Legends House show which will air on the WWE Network.

6.) Sheamus vs. Curtis Axel w/Ryback

Sheamus and Curtis Axel lock up, Sheamus out wrestles Axel which makes him frustrated. Sheamus applies the head lock, but gets trap in the corner and Axel starts applying the pressure to Sheamus. Sheamus gets Axel on the apron and does the Celtic Chops to the chest of Axel. Sheamus bangs Axel head on the announce table. Axel rams Sheamus elbow through the ring post. Curtis Axel continues to attack the recently repaired arm of Sheamus, Sheamus starts building momentum but Axel continues to ground Sheamus.

Curtis Axel applies a armlock to Sheamus and continues to ground the Celtic Warrior. Sheamus lands a couple of rights and hits the Brouge Kick to pick up the victory.

Winner: Sheamus

Batista comes out to a big pop and Alberto Del Rio comes right before Batista starts talking. Alberto Del Rio says before Batista puts the crowd to sleep about how he is going to WrestleMania. Batista says he doesnt know what the issue with Del Rio is. Alberto Del Rio says u being famous doesn’t make u the champion. Alberto Del Rio says that Batista is afraid of him. Alberto Del Rio punches Batista, Batista gets back up and tries to give Del Rio the Batista bomb, but Del Rio countered and ran out of the ring.

7.) Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, and Xavier Woods vs. The Wyatt Family

Back from the break and out comes The Wyatt Family. Rowan starts things off with Woods and beats him down after a pep talk from Bray Wyatt. Woods counters a move and starts kicking and chopping Rowan. Rowan grabs him but Truth tags in and they double team Rowan and finally bring him down. Truth drops a leg drop for a 2 count. Rowan slams Truth back into the corner and Luke Harper tags in. Truth fights them off but Rowan whips Truth into a big boot from Harper.

Bray tags in and unloads on Truth. Bray taunts Ziggler and turns around to splash Truth in the corner. Harper comes back in and does the gator roll on Truth. Fans chant for Ziggler to come in. Harper drops Truth with a headbutt but Truth nails a heel kicl. Ziggler comes in and unloads on Harper. Ziggler with a big dropkick and right hands in the corner. Ziggler nails a neckbreaker and a big elbow drop for a 2 count. Ziggler drops Harper again but Rowan breaks the pin at 2. Rowan tosses Ziggler into the corner. Woods dropkicks Rowan out of the ring. Bray chokeslams Woods. Truth kicks Bray out. Harper nails a big clothesline on Ziggler. Harper tags in Bray. He turns upside down in the corner before hitting Sister Abigail on Ziggler for the win.

-After the match, The Shield appears on the big screen. Ambrose says they’re not afraid of all the monster talk and sheep masks. Rollins says Bray is so delusional, a figment of his own imagination. Rollins says they can’t hang with The Shield. Reigns says they are in The Shield’s yard and they don’t play games. Playtime is over at Elimination Chamber. Bray laughs at them in the ring. Bray says he welcomes the war and tells The Shield to bring it to him.

A promo was shown of NXT Superstar Alexander Rusev and his manager Lana.

8.) The Funkadactyls vs. Aksana and Alicia Fox

Back from the break and Aksana waits in the ring with Alicia Fox as Cameron and Naomi make their way out. Before they get started, Divas Champion AJ comes out with Tamina Snuka. AJ joins commentary as Tamina stands guard.

Naomi and Aksana go it back and forth. Naomi smacks her own rear and takes Aksana down. Naomi rolls around the ring with Aksana in a leg lock. Naomi with a 2 count. Aksana counters and slams Naomi on her face. Aksana stomps away on Naomi’s knee. Aksana with a suplex and a 2 count. Aksana with more offense and another 2 count. Aksana with a chinlock now. Naomi makes a comeback but Aksana cuts her off with a knee to the face and a 2 count. Aksana pounds the mat in frustration. Naomi trips Aksana on her face. Naomi with a split-legged moonsault in the corner for the win.

-After the match, Alicia Fox attacks Naomi but Cameron makes the save. Cameron whips Alicia into a Rear View from Naomi for the win.

9.) Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan

Back from the break and Orton vs. Christian is announced for SmackDown. Fans chant for Bryan. They go at it and Orton goes out. Orton comes back in and attacks but Bryan drops him. Bryan works on Orton’s arm now. Fans chant for CM Punk now as Orton drops Bryan and stomps on him. Orton yells at fans as they chant for Bryan. Orton drops him with a shoulder tackle and poses to more boos.

Bryan comes back with a takedown and tries to stomp on Orton in the corner but is backed off by the referee. Bryan wraps Orton’s leg around the ring post and slams it. Bryan runs and dropkicks Orton’s knee into the ring post. Bryan comes back in and continues working on Orton’s leg. Orton bites Bryan to get him to let go of his leg. Orton with uppercuts now. Bryan backslides Orton out of nowhere for a 2 count. Bryan goes back to work on Orton’s hurt leg.

Orton goes to the floor for a breather but Bryan meets him and unloads. Bryan tosses Orton over the announcers table and into Michael Cole. Bryan brings it back in the ring and takes him to the corner. Bryan takes Orton to the top and climbs up for a big hurricanrana. Bryan covers for a 2 count. Bryan with a modified surfboard submission now before stomping on Orton’s leg. Bryan keeps control and applies a single crab. Orton crawls for the ropes but Bryan drags him back. Orton finally makes it to the rope and breaks the hold. Orton rolls to the floor and sells the knee injury. Bryan comes out but Orton kicks him and slams him on top of the fan barrier. Orton brings Bryan back in and covers for a 2 count. Orton starts stomping now. Orton unloads in the corner but Bryan turns it around with kicks. Bryan counters and ducks a clothesline but Orton nails a powerslam. We go to commercial.

Back from the break and Bryan is kicking away. Orton blocks a kick and nails a big throw. Bryan lands on his shoulder. They go back to the floor and Orton whips Bryan into the steel steps. Orton brings it back in for a 2 count and gets frustrated. Orton goes back to working on the arm. Orton keeps control but Bryan kicks out of another 2 count. Fans chant for Bryan as Orton focuses on the arm. Orton climbs up for a superplex but Bryan counters and blocks it. Bryan sends Orton to the mat with headbutts. Bryan nails a missile dropkick but lands on his bad shoulder.

More back and forth. Bryan finally gets the Yes Lock applied. Orton gets his foot on the ropes and breaks the hold. Bryan with dropkicks in the corner. Orton blocks the third with a dropkick of his own. Orton nails the draping DDT but Bryan blocks the RKO. Bryan nails the top rope headbutt but Orton kicks out at 2. Kane comes out and gets on the apron but Bryan takes them both out. Kane charges but Bryan sends him into the steel steps. Bryan nails the flying knee on Orton and covers him for the non-title win.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

-After the match, Kane and Orton beat Bryan down. Kane chokeslams Bryan as the fans continue to boo. Kane makes the ring explode and his music hits. Orton stands alongside Kane and raises his titles as RAW goes off the air.

JPOV: Decent RAW some matches were good some were not. I like the progression of the heel character of Titus O’Neil. It’s great to see Sheamus back in the ring like a breath of fresh air. Didn’t have much a problem with the Batista segment Del Rio said he had issues with Batista and dealt with his issues with Batista like a man sending a message to Batista. 2 great 6 Man Tag Team Match tonight.

I think Triple H needs to be get off his leash from Stephanie McMahon, but that just my opinion who running the show Stephanie or HHH? No John Cena kinda of surprised. Nice to see Christian back in the ring. I didn’t like the Santino segment. The cage match was slow to start off, but I thought the match was good.

The Main Event was fantastic a good old school wrestling match with Orton and Bryan. Nice to see Bryan win the match cleanley one questioned I have tho is why are the authority still sticking their nose in bryan business and helping orton even tho at the start of the show they were giving Orton a warning. Like I said I saw better Raws, but this was one ok no major issues.

Josh’s Grade for RAW: 7.5/10

Wanted to thank everybody who join on tonights play by play hope u guys liked it. Tomorrow we will have the audio podcast with Steve and Brian as they give their opinions on bevy of topics. Then on Thursday’s show, The Flagship show with Brian, Steve, and Michael. If you guys want to get into contact with me, just follow me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR.

Thanks guys talk you guys Thursday for IMPACT.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

WWE Monday Raw Results From January 27, 2014

RAW_1079_Photo_087

WWE Monday Night Raw on January 27, 2014 aired live from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Raw opens with a highlight package from last night Royal Rumble PPV with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match between Randy Orton and John Cena. With Bray Wyatt standing above John Cena shoulders.

 

First Segment: The Authority comes down to the ring. There was a highlight package of the match between Brock Lesnar and Big Show. Stephanie McMahon says last night Royal Rumble was one of the most statsifying epic Royal Rumble PPV’s in history. Triple H mocks the crowd about not getting what they want. Triple H talks about Randy Orton defeating John Cena, Brock Lesnar “destroying” Big Show, and there good friend Batista winning the Royal Rumble Match.Stephanie McMahon and Triple H announces at the Elimination Chamber Randy Orton will defend his WWE Championship in the Chamber Match. Daniel Bryan comes out and interrupts the Authority. Daniel Bryan tells the crowd to stop chanting YES!, so the Authority doesn’t get mad. Bryan says last night was one of the toughest matches in history. Daniel Bryan mentions about him not being in the rumble match is one of the disappointing moments in the history of the Rumble.

Stephanie McMahon says that the Authority doesn’t want to put Bryan in harms way for him to fight in the Rumble. Bryan says the Authority think about what’s worst for Daniel Bryan. Stephanie says Bryan only cares about himself and ask him does he really think he’s only person the people came to see RAW. Daniel Bryan ask the crowd if they want to see Randy Orton or Triple H and the crowd says no.

Daniel Bryan says he wants to be in the Elimination Chamber Match, and tells Triple H that he not leaving this ring till he gets what he wants. Triple H says it just not him and Bryan in the ring. The Shield comes out and Bryan grabs a chair, and The Shield attacks Bryan. Sheamus and John Cena comes out to save Daniel Bryan.

 

WWE App Coverage: Josh Matthews announces that NXT Ring Announcer/Color Commentator Byron Saxton will be the new WWE App guy.

Michael Cole announces tonight the main event of RAW will be Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, John Cena vs. The Shield. The Key is that whoever teams wins they get to be in the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match.

 

1.) Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. The Real Americans Quick tags from Rey and Sin Cara to start the match. Sin Cara hits a  springboard on Jack Swagger. Swagger run towards Sin Cara he ducks and he falls to ringside and Sin Cara hits a suicide dive. Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger gets into a confrontation Colter slaps Swagger in the face. Antonio Cesaro enters into the ring and takes control of the match. Sin Cara sends Cesaro over the top rope Cesaro got back up and knock down Rey Mysterio before Sin Cara made the tag. Cesaro tags in Swagger they double team on Sin Cara and give him a back breaker. Swagger goes for the Swagger Bomb, Cara counters and tags in Mysterio. Rey Mysterio starts building his momentum for the 619. Sin Cara tags in himself while Rey hits the 619 and then attacks Swagger Sin Cara goes for the splash then Cesaro counters. Antonio Cesaro hits the European Uppercut and the Netraulizer on Sin Cara to pick up the victory.

Winners: The Real Americans.

 

It was announced that tonight there will be a WWE Tag Team Championship Rematch between the New Age Outlaws and the Rhodes Brothers. On the WWE App Byronn Saxton interviews the New Age Outlaws and they take the microphone away from Saxton. They mention bout how they don’t understand how the Rhodes Brothers get their rematch so early. The Outlaws say they will beat the Rhodes Brothers tonight and they will have to get in the back of the line.

BAD NEWS BARRETT Segment: Barrett thanks the crowd for joining us, but he said I have some bad news. He says tonight there will be a match between The Miz and Dolph Ziggler which is being called the match for Cleveland. Wade throws shot at Cleveland about being nothing but losers. Michael Cole gives us a preview about the The Monday Night WAR show on the WWE Network. Cool video package shown about WrestleMania XXX being 69 days away.

 

2.) Fandango w/Summer Rae vs. R-Truth w/Xavier Woods on Commentary R-Truth and Fandango locked up. Emma from NXT was shown #Emmalution. Fandango walks outside the ring Truth starts chasing then Fandango attacks Truth after Truth was distracted by Summer Rae. Fandango drags Truth back into the ring. Fandango hits a suplex and goes for nearfall truth kicks out at 2. R-Truth starts building his mometum with the scissor kick Fandango counters, Fandango goes on the top rope for the leg drop and Truth counters and hits the Little Jimmy for the victory.

Winner: R-Truth

 

WWE App Coverage: Byron Saxtons show us the interview Tom Phillips did with Sheamus after the Royal Rumble last night. Sheamus says he reflects on his 4 year career in WWE and he has alot more to prove to himself.

 

Second In Ring Segment: Justin Roberts introduces RAW General Manager Brad Maddox and he brings out WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. Orton says he doesnt care about the fans thinks of him still being the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Randy Orton says that him having to defend his WWE Championship in Chamber is garbage. He asks Maddox if it was his or The Authority idea. Batista comes out to a mixed reaction.

Batista congratulates Orton on his victory last night he mentions the three reasons he said on RAW why he is back in the WWE. He says he doesnt if care he faces Orton, Cena, The Shield, or even Daniel Bryan Batista says he’s walking out of WrestleMania as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

Brock Lesnar comes out with Paul Heyman. Paul Heyman says that his client’s paitence is running low and says that the Authority has 2 choices. First one Randy Orton fighting Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Second choice is that Brock fights Batista. Paul Heyman says that Brock Lesnar wants The Authority answer tonight.

 

3.) The Battle of Cleveland~ The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler

Solid back and forth action between Ziggler and Miz. JBL and Michael Cole were throwing cheap shots at Cleveland. The Miz goes for the figure four leg lock and dolph gets to the rope. Dolph Ziggler wins the battle of cleveland with the Zig Zag on the Miz.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

 

4.) Ryback and Curtis Axel vs. The Usos Jey Uso and Ryback start the match, Ryback takes control with powering Jey all over the ring. Ryback rips Jey shirt off and throws it at Jimmy. Ryback tags in Curtis Axel and hits a drop kick on Jey Uso and gloats to the crowd. Axel hits a clubbing blow to Jey and tags in Ryback. Ryback hits a delayed suplex on Jey Uso. Jey makes the hot tag to Jimmy. Jimmy goes for the suicide dive on Curtis Axel goes back in the ring and tags in Jey. Ryback trys to hit the Shell Shock on Jimmy, but Jey superkicks and hits the splash on Ryabck to pick up the victory.

Winner: The Usos

The second inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be announced tonight

 

5.) Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio

There was a pre-recorded promo from Del Rio saying that Batista he will make it to the main event of WrestleMania. Del Rio viciously kicks Kingston around the ring. Kofi uses a combination punches and kicks Del Rio in the ring. Del Rio kicks Kingston in the face by the turnbuckle goes for the cover and Kingston kicks out at 2.  Del Rio kicks Kingston to the outside while Kingston was on the apron. Del Rio brings Kingston back into the ring. The fans were chanting for JBL and Del Rio tells JBL to sit down. They proceed to chant for Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler they stand up and they get a standing ovation. They go to break with Del Rio being thrown to ringside by Kingston.

On the WWE App Del Rio gets back in the ring and takes control of the match. Del Rio apply the headlock on Kingston. Kingston counters a couple of jabs from the Del Rio the two men collide with each other and Kofi starts applying his “Control” Frenzy. Kingston rolls up Del Rio, but Del Rio kicks out at 2. Kingston hits the boom drop on Kingston. Kofi goes for Trouble in Paradise, Del Rio counters and hits the backstabber and points at the WrestleMania sign. Del Rio uses the vicious kick to head to Kingston to pick up the victory

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Michael Cole shows us a highlight package of the WWE 2K14 Video Game with the last DLC Package featuring Dusty Rhodes, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Rick Rude and Virgil.

 

6.) WWE Tag Team Championship Match~ New Age Outlaws (c) vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust

The Outlaws cut their traditional promo, but also said the Rhodes Brothers were good but not good enough. The outlaws question why they have to be in the match after the first night being the champions. Goldust and Road Dogg start the match and the Outlaws are slow off the bat. Back and forth exchange between Road Dogg and Cody, Goldust comes in the off the tag and still putting Road Dogg in a vacarious position. Road Dogg tags in Billy Gunn and starts throwing jabs at Goldust and tags in Road Dogg. More strategic tags happen with the Outlaws and then tag team title heads into commercial break.

On the WWE APP Road Dogg hits the Shake Rattle and Roll on Goldust. The Outlaws still have control in this match Road Dogg tags in Billy Gunn. Back on the USA Network, Billy Gunn runs into a side powerslam. Road Dogg comes in off the tag and Goldust rolls up Road Dogg, but he kicks out at 2. Cody Rhodes comes in off the hot tag and hits a running high knee. He goes on the top rope on the apron and lands a double kick to the Outlaws. Billy gets back up and hits a clothesline.

Brock Lesnar comes out and hits a F-5 on both Cody Rhodes and Goldust.Paul Heyman says that the Authority didnt accept either of the options Lesnar and Heyman laid out earlier on the show. Lesnar goes on to destroy Cody Rhodes and Goldust even more by hitting him with full force with a steel chair.

Winner: Cody Rhodes and Goldust by DQ

 

7.) 8 Diva Tag Team Match~ The Bella Twins, Naomi, and Cameron vs. AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka, Alicia Fox, and Aksana

Pretty simple 8 diva tag match Nikki Bella was the workhorse of this match. All the divas came in brawl. Nice spot where Cameron and The Bella Twins hit a triple suplex on Alicia Fox, Tamina Snuka, and Aksana. Naomi hits the rear view to pick up the victory.

Winner: The Bella Twins, Naomi and Cameron

 

Hall of Fame Announcement: Jake “The Snake” Roberts will join the Ultimate Warrior in the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2014. Michael Cole showed us a preview of WrestleMania Rewind one of the original shows on the WWE Network.

It was announced that Captain Charisma Christian on SmackDown this Friday

 

8.) 6 Man Tag Team Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match~ Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and John Cena vs. The Shield

Dean Ambrose and John Cena start off the match Ambrose tags in Seth Rollins and pulls Ambrose back to apron to cause he wouldnt stop attacking Cena  and too avoide being disqualified. Seth Rollins tags in Roman Regins, there was a Roman Regins chant while Regins was staring down Cena. Regins drop Cena then Sheamus tags himself in and Regins and Sheamus lock up and exchange punches by the turnbuckle. Sheamus fires out of the corner and drops Regins on the mat. Sheamus goes for the cover and Regins kicks out.

Roman Regins drags Sheamus to the corner and Seth Rollins tags himself in. Sheamus puts Seth Rollins on the ring apron and does the chops to the chest. Seth Rollins attacks Sheamus knee and then Dean Ambrose tags in. Sheamus tags in Daniel Bryan, byran starts his series of kicks on Ambrose and does a running drop kick to Ambrose on the turnbuckle. Bryan gives Ambrose a top rope hurricanrana then Ambrose tags in Rollins. After that Bryan applies a surfboard submission hold to Seth Rollins. Bryan tags in Sheamus, Sheamus does the leg drop to Rollins then tags Cena and they give Rollins a double suplex. Rollins grounds Cena and the match goes to commercial break.

Back from the WWE APP The Shield grounds Cena and take control of the match. Rollins toys around with Cena, then Cena goes to bull doze Rollins he counters and hits a DDT on Cena. Roman Regins tags in and does a bottom rope drop kick. Roman Regins sets up the “Superman Punch”. Regins tries to spear Cena, he counters and send his Regins to the outside. Regins comes back in the ring and knocks down Cena and tags in Ambrose. Dean Ambrose throws Cena to the turnbuckle Seth Rollins tags in and tries to drag Cena to the Shield’s corner. Rollins continues to slice the ring and Rollins ticks off Sheamus. Rollins sends Cena to the turnbuckle and the frequent tags continue with Ambrose covering Cena he kicks out at 2. Daniel Bryan urges the WWE Universe to help Cena get up and make the hot tag. Ambrose plants Cena with a DDT he covers and Cena kicks out at 2. John Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment on Ambrose and makes the hot tag to Daniel Bryan. Bryan takes out the entire Shield with series of kicks and suicide dives. Bryan does the kicks to Rollins chest and face Bryan goes for the cover, but Roman Regins break the cover. Roman Regins spears both Sheamus and John Cena. Daniel Bryan hits the running knee to Roman Regins, Rollins sneaks up from behind to roll up Bryan, but Bryan kicks out at 2.

Rollins throws Bryan to the turnbuckle he goes for the cover and Bryan kicks out at 2. Seth Rollins goes on the top rope Bryan lands a back suplex to Rollins and puts Rollins in the YES! Lock. Sheamus Brouge Kick Dean Ambrose. Both Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins collide with each other. John Cena comes off the hot tag and puts Roman Regins in the STF, but Regins breaks the STF. The Wyatt Family come out and attack Cena. Sheamus and Bryan come back to save Cena. The Shield are livid because the Wyatts screwed them out of the Elimination Chamber Match.

Winners: Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, and John Cena

WWE Main Event Spoilers For Tonight’s Show

main event

Before the Smackdown tapings take place, the WWE films “Main Event” that will air on ION Television tonight starting at 8 p.m. ET. The tapings took place in Uncasville, Connecticut. Here is what took place on WWE Main Event.

- Alberto Del Rio beat Dolph Ziggler. Del Rio won with the Cross Arm Breaker. Awesome match. They really went all out and the crowd was into it the whole time. This was better than their two pay-per-view matches earlier this year.

- Damien Sandow beat Santino Marella. Sandow won with his You’re Welcome finisher. Pretty much a squash. Sandow cut a promo before the match insulting the crowd and calling himself “still the uncrowned world champion.” He demanded better opponents.

- Triple H cut a promo on the screen saying he wants the titles to be unified at TLC. He wants only one WWE champion. So I guess they are guaranteeing one champion at TLC? I can’t see the Titantron from my seat so I might not have gotten the full context of the promo.

- Kofi Kingston beat Fandango (w/Summer Rae). Kingston won with Trouble in Paradise. Fundamentally solid, but the crowd had no reason to get invested in either man, although the kids got into at the end. No follow up on Sunday’s actions from Kofi.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Results were courtesy of ProWrestling.net.

WWE Main Event Spoilers For Tonight’s Show

main event

Before the Smackdown tapings take place, the WWE films “Main Event” that will air on ION Television tonight starting at 8 p.m. ET. The tapings took place in Atlanta, Georgia. Here is what took place on WWE Main Event.

- Tamina defeated Naomi in a lumberjill match. The Divas who are in the Survivor Series elimination match were all at ringside serving as the lumberjills.

- Alberto Del Rio defeated Santino Marella. An easy win for Del Rio, who had go away heat in Atlanta thus far.

- Fandango defeated Kofi Kingston. The Miz provided a quick distraction that led to Fandango getting the win. This concluded the Main Event taping.

Results were courtesy of ProWrestling.net.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

WWE Main Event Spoilers For Tonight’s Show

Before the Smackdown tapings take place, the WWE films “Main Event” that will air on ION Television tonight starting at 8 p.m. ET. The tapings took place in Tampa, Florida. Here is what took place on WWE Main Event.

- Ryback pinned Kofi Kingston with a Shellshock. At one point during the bout, Ryback used the Jackhammer.

- Santino Marella defeated Heath Slater with the Cobra.

- Los Matadores defeated Los Locos (Ricardo & Tyson Kidd under masks.)

- Fandango pinned The Great Khali with a top rope legdrop.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Results were from PWInsider.com.

WWE Battleground Predictions and Preview

WWE-Battleground-2013-Poster
WWE starts off a month of many pay-per-view events tonight with the new event Battleground. The card for this event is incredibly lackluster, seeing a rematch of the most recent event in the main event of this one and a number of other matches that just seem thrown together to make matches for WWE’s other event at the end of this month, Hell in a Cell. As the guys mentioned in the video preview on Friday, one has to wonder why WWE didn’t decide to axe this pay-per-view event and build these matches up more for the Hell in a Cell event. For now though, let’s preview what the pay-per-view buyer can expect from this event.

The main event will see Daniel Bryan take on Randy Orton for the vacant WWE Championship. This whole storyline of the title being held up just seems like a poor excuse for these two to try and meet up for the title again and yet again gave WWE another way to give Bryan the title only to take it away from him again. Knowing that these two men will almost certainly meet up again in three weeks in the cell, this match really does not seem to matter. Bryan and Orton will put on a great match as these two men tend to do, if the writers allow the match to be a clean match between the two men. Being that they are building this up for a third match in the cell, I’m highly skeptical that these two will have a clean one-on-one encounter. That being said, I expect Orton to win in a fashion that will permit the rematch with Bryan in the Cell.

The main match on the undercard sees World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio defending his title against Rob Van Dam in a Battleground Hardcore Rules match. This match is really seeming to highlight RVD’s hardcore past and each match he has on the road to this one has shown a particular aspect of that, each time ending with RVD hitting his patented Van Terminator. That being said, I still do not see RVD winning the title in this one. If I had to guess I would say that this may be the match that leads to Ricardo Rodriquez reuniting with Alberto Del Riomby costing RVD the title. The only way I see Van Dam winning is if Damien Sandow cashes in Money in the Bank afterward and I don’t see him cashing that in quite yet.

Remember a year or so ago when Ryback was taking on CM Punk for the WWE Championship inside Hell in a Cell? Remember how well that match went? Well, take away the WWE Championship, the cell and move Paul Heyman into the corner of Ryback and were pretty much gonna get the same thing without the screwy finish involving Brad Maddox. Punk should win this one, but keep the feud going with Paul Heyman and his “guys” for the rest of the year. Either way, this match isn’t gonna be pretty.

Speaking of Paul Heyman guys, Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel will defend his title against R-Truth. Truth looked pretty good against Axel in their previous encounters and this match has the elements to be a surprise hit. Axel has had a tendency of losing in his non-title matches as of recently, but always pulls out the win when the belt is on the line. Whether or not Truth can break that streak is dependent on how much influence Heyman &/or Ryback have on the match and its outcome. In the end, I see Axel retaining in a fashion to allow them to meet up again at Hell in a Cell for the title.

In a match featuring one of the most out of left field story lines I can recall, Cody Rhodes and his brother Goldust will take on WWE Tag Team Champions Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins of the Shield. At stake is the fate of their WWE futures and their father Dusty’s job as a trainer in NXT. This whole, “let’s pick on the Rhodes family” storyline just baffles me.

I don’t really understand why creative went in this direction, nor do I really know where this storyline is going. Due to that, I’m kind of at an impasse for predicting a winner. On the one hand, The Shield have always been managing to find ways to win on the pay-per-view. On the other I don’t see WWE bringing in all of the Rhodes family into a storyline for one mediocre pay-per-view. I can almost see this going to the Rhodes clan by means of DQ leading to a possible six-man with Dusty and Ambrose involved at Hell in a Cell.

The WWE Divas Championship will be defended on the pay-per-view when champion AJ Lee defends against Brie Bella. This could be a solid match for the Divas title as these two women both have what it takes to hold the belt. That being said, even though Brie and her sister have been getting a big push in conjunction with the Total Divas show on E!. AJ walks out of the pay-per-view with the belt, if only for the reason that she is the only true heel Diva in the whole division right now and the other Divas fighting to take her down is better for the division than nothing. The only way that I see Brie taking the title is if the WWE were wanting to parlay her real-life romance with Daniel Bryan into a power couple type of storyline. The problem is, that doesn’t even seem to be close to an idea the creative team has though of.

In a match that will more than likely open the main card of the event, Bray Wyatt takes on Kofi Kingston. This match comes after weeks of Bray Wyatt’s cryptic messages directed at Kingston after his matches. There is no doubt in my mind that Kingston has the ability to make this match an entertaining spectacle when working off of Wyatt’s bizarre and rough offense. In the end though, the Erik Rowan and Luke Harper’s presence at ringside will be the deciding factor in Wyatt winning this match.

The pre-show match for this pay-per-view sees former World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler take on World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank contract holder Damien Sandow. It’s a match with Ziggler in it, meaning it definitely has the potential to be a fantastic match even for the pre-show. The fact that he’s taking on Sandow also has the potential to make this match a bit of a sleeper as WWE has to start building him up as a serious contender to the title if Money in the Bank is going to continue to be anything of importance. For that reason, look for Sandow to kick off the night with a win.

Keeping all of that in mind, if that sounds like a good way to spend your Sunday night, Battleground will be live on pay-per-view tonight starting at 8pm ET/5pm PT. For more news and results, keep it posted here at Between the Ropes.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

WWE Main Event Spoilers For Wednesday September 18. 2013

Before the Smackdown tapings take, the WWE films “Main Event” that will air on ION Television tomorrow night starting at 8 p.m. ET. Tonight’s tapings took place in Cincinnati. Here is what took place on WWE Main Event.

- Dolph Ziggler vs. Curtis Axel is up first. Paul Heyman and Ryback are at ringside. Dolph hit Ryback but Axel knocked him to the floor. Axel distracted the referee while Ryback took Ziggler out on the floor. Axel brought Ziggler back in the ring and hit his finisher for the win.

- Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton for the WWE championship is announced for Battleground.

- Kofi Kingston vs. Fandango is up next. Kofi mocks Fandango by dancing. He gets the win after Trouble In Paradise.

- Damien Sandow beat Justin Gabriel after countering the 450 Splash.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

WWE Main Event Spoilers For Wednesday September 11, 2013

The WWE taped Main Event last night in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada prior to the Smackdown tapings. The show will air tonight on ION Television starting at 8 p.m. ET. Here are the results from last night’s tapings of the show.

Kofi Kingston vs. Antonio Cesaro is up first. Cesaro did a 36 second giant swing. Kofi wins with the SOS.

Darren Young and Titus O’Neil defeated Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal when Titus pinned Jinder. The crowd was really into the Prime Time Players. Tensai and Brodus Clay were out on commentary.

Big E Langston defeated R-Truth with the Big Ending.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

WWE Monday Night RAW Analysis and Review – August 5th, 2013

Make sure to check out the new and improved WWE Raw Rundown for complete coverage of everything that happened on last night’s show.

Bryan in a suitDaniel Bryan’s corporate makeover proved more entertaining that I initially expected. WWE was smart to lead this segment with a short, but funny, video that captured Bryan’s transformation, and then move the comedy out of the way in favor of Bryan v McMahon drama. Everything that Bryan said about being a “wrestler” further cemented his status atop the mountain. I’m also curious to see where things go with Vince McMahon – while some people are saying his presence isn’t necessary, I think Vince adds an element of unpredictability to the whole affair, and only strengthen Bryan’s chances at winning the gold. Remember how Money in the Bank 2011 played out?

The middle of this segment lost me a little. Why, again, is Wade Barrett coming out to shave another man’s beard? Is he just happy to be on TV? Did WWE really need to make him look so foolish? But Bryan recovered things at the end, and him ripping-off the suit (along with the great “fear the beard” shirt) made for a memorable, crowd-pleasing moment.

Also, while I’m buying the Vince McMahon meddling (mostly in anticipation of a possible Orton heel-turn), I could do without the Triple H/Stephanie McMahon garbage. One McMahon is enough for this, or really any, storyline. My biggest concern is that the Triple H/Stephanie/Vince dynamic is going to result in some weird overbooked angle at SummerSlam, and completely overshadow whatever great moment is in store for the PPV. Sometimes simple storytelling is the best.

John Cena, on the other hand, delivered with another strong promo. He played off of Bryan’s earlier comments niceley, and cemented that he might not be a wrestler, but he is a company man. His passion for WWE seemed believable. By staying away from the “preacher-man” gimmick, and instead simply promising to beat Bryan and prove that he is the best, Cena has sold this matchup as major league. It might be a little bit like the Punk – Cena dynamic of the last two years, but that’s okay. Good stuff all around.

Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow stood out yet again. While nothing really changed here last night (other than the re-introduction of the briefcase), these two continue to look like superstars. This is my favorite ongoing feud.

While a lot of other stuff happened (Lesnar/Heyman/Punk, Bray Wyatt/Kane, Christian, etc.), one thing that really stood out was the underwhelming return of Kofi Kingston. This guy has been off TV for two months, yet creative simply booked him in a quick victory over Fandango. Really guys? The show was already crowded, so why not hold off on Kingston until AFTER SummerSlam. Better yet, let him surprise attack Ryback and get an ounce of revenge. Kofi Kingston vs. Ryback would be great pre-show fodder.

Overall show was good. WWE has been booking shorter matches in favor of more stuff happening, and while I hate some wrestlers aren’t given long enough to shine, it seems to be working. First, the mid-card finally has some life in it again. Also, the main-event picture has been elevated above everything else with some great mic work by Bryan and Cena. Hopefully this momentum carries up through next week’s RAW and on to Sunday, August 18th – if so, WWE is likely to have one of the best SummerSlam cards in years.

Agree? Disagree? YES! No!? Let me know in the comments below, or hit me up on Twitter @therealwiseman

Kofi Kingston Returns to RAW

Last night on RAW, Kofi Kingston made a surprise in-ring return, winning his match against Fandango. [Read more...]

Why Kofi Kingston is the Face of the WWE Problem

kofi kingstonIn late 2009, Kofi Kingston was finally ready for his breakout moment.

His career arc up to that point included all the typical WWE milestones: after signing with the WWE in 2006 he did a stint in developmental before eventually working his way onto the main roster. By late 2008, he had collected a few mid-card titles (including the tag-team championship with CM Punk), and had shown that his athleticism and work-ethic were some of the best in the company. Hardcore and casual fans loved him. Plus, he had paid his dues.

When October of 2009 rolled around, Kingston had been in and out of the main event picture for most of the year. His brief run-ins with Edge and Chris Jericho made him seem like a star, and a lengthy United States title run further decorated his resume. He was only looking for that one rivalry to put him over the top.

Enter Randy Orton.

Orton was fresh off a WWE Championship reign. His heel-tactics had earned him the ire of the entire WWE Universe, and so a victory for the babyface Kingston would establish Kingston’s status as a main event superstar. Their rivalry was fresh and exciting. Unfortunately, that’s as far as it went. Kofi Kingston got his victory over Randy Orton, but it was a flukey win stuck in the middle of three Orton-dominated matches. Then Kingston went on to spend 2010 in mid-card hell. Despite a few highlight-worthy moments since, and a handful of great matches, his career has never truly recovered.

So what’s the real issue here?  It seems WWE struggles with handling a sustainable build, and often fails to follow-through. Kingston undoubtedly has all the tools of a superstar, but he’s never been spotlighted long enough to create the buzz that follows other main event players. His rivalry with Orton should have been the launching pad to bigger and greater things. Instead, it was the high point of a single storyline. They had nothing serious planned for him once he lost to Orton.

Kingston’s not alone here. CM Punk captured the World Heavyweight Championship TWICE, and still had a hard time getting traction. In fact, he didn’t cement his place atop the roster until after his infamous ‘Pipe Bomb Promo’ and the ensuing rivalry with John Cena. That was when WWE Creative finally gave CM Punk both an angle he could sink his teeth into, and a storyline that kept him in the spotlight.

Fans often complain that if a young gun could just get that one victory, or grab a World Championship that one time, they’d be set. I argue that it’s less about the championship itself, or even the victory, and more about what takes place after.

Remember Zack Ryder? He got his shining moment, winning the United States Championship and celebrating with Punk and Bryan the next night on ‘Raw.’ Now he’s the jobber to the stars. What about Jack Swagger? He climbed the proverbial ladder and is billed as a “former World-Heavyweight Champion.” Today, his career can’t seem to find anything that clicks. Cody Rhodes defeated Rey Mysterio at Wrestlemania over two years ago, and he’s rarely even featured on PPV pre-shows anymore. The examples go on and on.

I’m not arguing all of these guys could, or even should, be headlining pay-per-views. But I think they’re all shining examples of WWE’s short-sightedness. Creative puts a wrestler out there, gives him some momentum, then tucks tail and runs because they can’t immediately sell merchandise like John Cena or Randy Orton. News flash, WWE: Those guys took years of build to become as popular as they are today. And unfortunately, giving a superstar a small push then immediately pulling them from TV for weeks does more to harm a superstar than help them.

As a fan, I want time to invest in a superstar, so I can genuinely care. Give me feuds that build to bigger and better things, and let me see an actual progression of character. I want surprise wins and heartbreaking losses. Take The Miz, for example. He was never supposed to be a WWE main-eventer, or even a real threat for TV time. However, when he split from John Morrison, the WWE writing team laid the groundwork for his rise to success. They spotlighted him on WWE television, gave him mid-card wins, and let his stock rise for a year. Then, in late 2010, he cashed in the Money in the Bank contract for his first WWE Championship reign.

Miz Money in the BankBut notice how things didn’t just stop there. In the subsequent months, they continued to put him in meaningful rivalries, eventually culminating in a Wrestlemania match against John Cena. After he reached the top, they let him stay. It was over a year later before they finally changed The Miz into a face, and it was at a time his popularity was starting to wane. It actually felt like a great refresh.

I think the WWE had the right concept with Ryback. They wanted him to be a beast, and so they let him decimate anybody on the roster. While his feud with CM Punk last year felt premature, it also felt plausible, if only because he looked like the kind of guy that could beat anybody in the company. Fans even started chanting along with him. But then, less than four months later, WWE changed its mind and decided to make Ryback a heel. A guy that was finally starting to get over in popularity was changed to an entirely different character. And, subsequently, his current feud with John Cena feels bland.

WWE is losing viewers on a weekly basis, and people are less interested in the product than ever. When former stars like The Rock or Brock Lesnar have to show up and sell your pay-per-views, something isn’t right with the way you’re handling talent.

Kofi Kingston might never become a world champion, and Zack Ryder might never main-event again. Those are things I’ve learned to accept. But something I can’t accept is a mediocre, warmed-over product, when the WWE has all the right pieces to be so much more.

WWE Raw Rundown – May 27th, 2013

rawAfter two solid weeks of programming, WWE takes a few steps back with an overall mediocre show, highlighted by a couple of strong matches and one hugely entertaining segment.

The Good:

Memorial Day Tribute: Say what you will about WWE pandering to it’s fans, at least it has the respect to give back to our troops.

Opening Segment w/Paul Heyman & Curtis Axel: Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel came out after Ryback left to challenge John Cena. I like it, it gave Axel the spotlight again, and showed he was willing to fight. And at least John Cena looked like he takes this challenge seriously. Short but effective segment, and good build for the main event later.

Del Rio def. Big E Langston: Good continuation of last weeks rivalry, and a great way to keep Ziggler spotlighted while he’s on the sidelines. Still wish they would actually put him on the show (does a concussion mean he can’t talk on the mic?). Del Rio wins by smacking Big E into a ringpost. Wasn’t quite as much fun as the match from last week, and feels like a general retread, but I enjoyed seeing Del Rio pick up the win because of AJ’s mistake. Also, Del Rio deserves the win and, because of the fluke, keeps Big E from looking weak. Didn’t like the argument at the end between AJ and Big E Langston – are they setting up a potential breakup? I hope not. It feels too early.

Daniel Bryan and Kane backstage segment: Fun segment. I liked the surprise appearance by Bret Hart, and thought the pep-talk he gave to Bryan was entertaining. Plus, Bryan’s line – “And you? You’re just Kane.”

Dean Ambrose def. Kofi Kingston to retain the IC Championship: Besides the early commercial break, I enjoyed this. These guys match up very well. The crowd seemed reluctant to get into this at first, but the multiple near-falls drew people back in. Anti-climatic ending, with Kofi getting knocked out on the steel steps, but it made Ambrose look DOMINANT. Very good for him, and glad to see him win this one on his own. The brawl afterwards between Team Hell No and The Shield made sense, and was a perfect lead-in to the next segment.

The Shield def. Team Hell No to retain the Tag Team Titles: This rivalry has been a ton of fun. These two teams have a lot of in-ring chemistry, and I love the fact that each one has a “big guy/small guy” dynamic. This match isn’t quite as good as their fight last week, but I still enjoyed the heck out of it. The distention at the end between Kane and Bryan, which causes Kane to lose the match, still feels somewhat forced. Also, Daniel Bryan is insanely popular, so I question WWE’s decision to have him be the cause of Team Hell No’s downfall while treating Kane like the sympathetic teammate. On the other hand, I like Bryan a lot more when he’s acting crazy.

Triple H Update: I like how they explained Triple H’s injury last week came from the Sledgehammer to the jaw at Extreme Rules. It really helped sell the intensity of that match. By announcing him for next weeks show, they give us incentive to tune in.

Fandango def. Wade Barrett w/ The Miz as special guest referee: Fine for what it was. Basically, The Miz attacks everybody, and comes out looking like the babyface should. The next logical step in this three-man rivalry.

Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel w/ Paul Heyman: Finally something truly interesting happened on one of these “WWE Talk Show” segments. Probably the highlight of last night’s show. Love that Jericho addressed the CM Punk issue directly, and how it felt unexpected. Paul Heyman did such a great job defending Punk while still acting clueless, and Jericho goading him into a match seemed very believable. Also, reminding everybody that Payback takes place in Punk’s hometown only makes sense. Putting Jericho – Punk on the card will definitely sell some PPVs, and ensure a packed house. Most importantly, this segment is a reminder of how talented speakers can effectively sell a match.

Wade Barrett’s New Music: Maybe it just feels refreshing, but I really dig it.

More title matches: I like this “more title matches, but fewer title changes” concept. It keeps the card interesting without devaluing the championships themselves. It’s also given us some very good matches in the past few weeks.

 

The Bad:

Show Opening w/John Cena: So. Many. Boos. This is exactly what I expected from Cena – more comedy to bury Ryback (yes, we get it, he acts like a caveman), and then an unexpected change to the stipulation of the match. Apparently it’s impossible for the man to come out and legitimately act like he’s still banged up from Extreme Rules, or like he even takes his opponent seriously.

And now, Cena wants this to be a “Three Stages of Hell” match, with stage one being a lumberjack match, stage two being a tables match, and stage three the expected ambulance match. I have so many issues with this. First off, this rivalry hasn’t built up to a “Three Stages of Hell” match, so it feels like adding a gimmick for gimmick’s sake. Plus, lumberjack matches and table matches just feel so boring and inconclusive. So what’s the point here, WWE? The ambulance match gimmick makes sense, and that’s obviously why you saved it for the last fall. What’s the deal with all the fluff? It just seems overbooked.

Tensai, Brodus Clay, and The Great Khali def. 3MB: Match ended in a giant brawl with Slater getting buried. Does this serve a real point? There’s no storyline here, just generic mid-card filler. Superstars like Antonio Cesaro are preempted because of this?

The Bellas def. Natalya and Kaitlyn: This was dumb and a waste of time. Didn’t do much to further the division or any storyline, other than making fun of Natalya.

Curtis Axel – Bret Hart backstage segment: Bret Hart tells Axel to get rid of Heyman. Axel says Heyman is the only one who paid him any attention. While I’m always happy to see Hart, it is what it is.

Randy Orton and Sheamus def. Team Rhodes Scholars: Are these guys a tag-team again, or what? While I love ‘Rhodes Scholars,’ the crowd is mostly dead. Still happy to see these guys get spotlighted with two former world champions. However, the match had a much slower pace, and the ending was never in doubt. Too much time here for what feels like filler. Sheamus brogue kick pins Sandow, and the burial of Sandow and Rhodes continues (can we not get these guys in a real storyline?).

Axel def. John Cena via count-out: Axel looks like such a big deal with Paul Heyman, and being in the ring with John Cena. His intensity is infectious. However, the slow match with “generic Cena wrestling” was dull. I’m glad Axel got the upper-hand against Cena for much of the match, but the crowd wasn’t impressed, as evidenced by the “booring” chants.

When the ambulance drove in, I thought this segment held promise. But Cena losing by count-out (to go attack Ryback in the ambulance?) really made him look dumb. Also, a second flukey win by Axel really isn’t building him up much. I don’t know how to feel about this, exactly.

The brawl between Ryback and Cena was okay, but it honestly didn’t accomplish much. I was glad to see Ryback get the upper hand, which at least sells him as credible competition to Cena’s title (more than Cena did earlier in the night), but still felt total indifference to this segment. We’ve seen them brawl, we’ve seen them argue. I’m bored by this feud.

WWE Fan Voting: Feels too inconsequential to matter anymore.

Three Hours of Raw: Cut out the filler, this could’ve been two strong hours. Instead, by 9:30, I was checking Facebook, flipping the channel, everything. The Heyman-Jericho segment saved hour 3, but otherwise, everything after “The Shield” felt like a snoozefest. I think it’s simply too much on a weekly basis.

 

The Ugly:

Stupid backstage segment involving cake and Hornswaggle. I wish I was making this stuff up.

Natalya’s Birthday: The Great Khali sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her. I pray nobody ever has a birthday around Khali again.

Shawn Michael’s Beard: This is what retirement does to you, folks.

Between The Ropes – January 10, 2013 | Kofi Kingston

kofi kingstonWWE superstar Kofi Kingston talks about the 20th anniversary of Raw, his favorite memory from the show, comparing the Attitude Era to now, his recent matches with Wade Barrett, bringing out the wildcat in him, the road to WrestleMania and more.

Subscribe to Between The Ropes on iTunes

Subscribe to Between The Ropes on Stitcher

Follow me on Twitter (@BrianFritz)

Follow Kofi on Twitter (@TrueKofi)

Play